Date:Tuesday March 6 2007
Last week Blackburn Rovers Football Club revealed that they would be cutting the average costs of season tickets by 25%, this has been met with widespread acclaim.
The club have just sent me another press release (below) on this issue highlighting the support the stance has gained from senior government and PFA officials.
BLACKBURN TICKET PRICING GAINS GOVERNMENT SUPPORT
Blackburn Rovers have received backing from senior figures in the government and the PFA for its pioneering ticket price reductions.
Rovers are to cut the average cost of adult season tickets for next season by 25% meaning Blackburn will be giving more than £1million back to supporters in the form of reduced prices.
Sports Minister Richard Caborn, Commons Leader Jack Straw and PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor have backed the move.
Its means cheapest season ticket will cost just £249 for the CIS stand which has nearly 5,500 seats available at this price. The most expensive season ticket will cost £399 down from £595, a massive reduction of £196.
Jack Straw, Labour MP and Rovers fan, said: "This is great news, for fans, the club and soccer. Congratulations to Rovers. In the lead - yet again! I hope other clubs now follow.
"Some clubs, but not Rovers, were in danger of killing the bird that has laid the golden egg. For the reason why the English Premiership is a world beating 'product' is the vital human passion that only a big crowd can generate.
"TV is fine if you cannot get to a game - but as an Ewood Park season ticket holder with my children for 15 years - I know there is no substitute for the real thing."
Sports Minister, Richard Caborn also comments: "I applaud Blackburn Rovers' decision to reward loyal fans by slashing ticket prices.
"The millions of pounds being pumped into football through the latest TV deal shouldn't just go into the pockets of players and agents. The increase in cash is a fantastic opportunity for clubs to give something back to supporters and the local community. That is just what Blackburn is doing.
"The fans are the beating heart of any club and a full to bursting Ewood Park will have a great effect on the players as they react to the passion pouring out from the terraces.
"Well done Blackburn!"
Gordon Taylor, chief executive of the PFA said: "I am delighted that my local club, Blackburn Rovers, have proved to be trail-blazers by showing their appreciation of their loyal supporters by cutting prices so substantially for season ticket holders next season, encouraging a new generation of young fans who come to Ewood to cheer Mark Hughes' 11 on to greater success.
"While television and sponsors are a crucial part of a club's funding, the real life blood for a club remains, as it has been in the past and will be in the future, the live spectator without which the game can not retain its attraction as the world's most popular spectator and participant sport.
"I very much hope this initiative reaps the success it deserves for the mutual benefit of both club and spectators."
Rovers were one of the first Premiership clubs to say they will be investing some of the new television money in their supporters and they have honoured that pledge with this announcement.
A marketing campaign called "We Believe" will also be launched to get the message across to supporters and will include a club manifesto aimed at highlighting Blackburn's commitment to grass roots fans.
Simon Williams, head of sales and marketing at Rovers said: "It's great to receive recognition at the highest levels of government and the PFA for what we are doing.
"We believe passionately that one of the reasons why the Premiership is the best league in the world is the fans and the atmosphere they create at matches.
"We know what a difference a full house at Ewood Park makes to the players and we want to create that every home match next season with more fans enjoying the unbeatable experience of attending the match live at Ewood."
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Date:Tuesday March 6 2007
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